NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship Participants at a Glance
Lone Star Park Press Release
Robby Albarado (Louisiana, Kentucky) – The 27-year-old has won more than 2,100 races and $52 million. He’s won six riding titles, including three straight at Fair Grounds (1998-2000). He’s also won titles at Oaklawn Park and Arlington Park. The Louisiana native was aboard champion Banshee Breeze for her 12-length victory in the 1998 Grade I Spinster Stakes. The following year, he won the Grade II Louisiana Derby on Kimberlite Pipe and the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks on Dreams Gallore for Lone Star Park’s leading trainer Steve Asmussen. This is his third Jockey Championship invitation.
Ronald Ardoin (Louisiana/Lone Star Park) – The 44-year-old Louisiana legend returns to the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship for the second time, but this is his first invitation. In 1997, Ardoin earned a berth by topping the Lone Star Park standings. But as one of only 17 jockeys in history win 5,000 or more races, he’s now among racing’s elite. He’s the all-time leading rider at Louisiana Downs and was inducted into Fair Grounds’ Hall of Fame in 1996. He owns six riding titles at each track, and another at Lone Star Park in 1997. His greatest feat was winning the 1996 Arkansas Derby on Zarb’s Magic.
Jerry Bailey (Florida, Kentucky, New York) – The 43-year-old native of Dallas was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1995. His mounts have won more than 4,400 races and $209 million. Bailey was atop the national standings in earnings with $10 million (through May). He won his fourth Eclipse Award as the nation’s most outstanding rider last year. Previously, he won three straight (1995-97). He’s a two-time Kentucky Derby winner (Sea Hero-1993 and Grindstone-1996) and has 11 victories in Breeders’ Cup Championship races. This is his fifth Jockey Championship invitation. He was unable to attend last year due a prior riding commitment in England. He’s notched 30 points in three years, including a win on Valley of Kings in 1997.
Tyler Baze (Southern California) – He’s, perhaps, the hottest young rider since the great Steve Cauthen. Baze, an 18-year-old native of Seattle, was only the second Southern California-based rider to win the Eclipse Award as North America’s leading apprentice jockey (or rookie) in 2000. He made more trips to the winner’s circle that year (246) than any other jockey on the tough circuit. Under the guidance of agent Ivan Puhich, an ex-marine, Baze finished second to the great Laffit Pincay Jr. at this year’s Santa Anita winter/spring meet. Pincay, 54, had already been in racing’s Hall of Fame seven years before Baze had been born.
Jorge Chavez (Florida, Kentucky, New York) – The 39-year-old Peruvian won his first Kentucky Derby while guiding Monarchos to victory in 1:59.97 – the second-fastest winning time in Derby history. Nicknamed “Chop Chop,” he’s won more than 3,300 races and $108 million. In 1999, he was honored with an Eclipse Award as North America’s most outstanding rider. That same year, he bagged a pair of Breeders’ Cup Championships with Beautiful Pleasure in the Distaff and Artax in the Sprint – both voted champions. Earlier this year, he won the Gulfstream Park riding title for the third straight year. This is his second Jockey Championship invitation. He scored 12 points last year with a win on Bust The Record.
Pat Day (Florida, Kentucky, New York) – The 47-year-old Kentucky kingpin was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1991. The following year, he captured his only Kentucky Derby on Lil E. Tee. In late May, he became only the third jockey in history to win more than 8,000 races. He’s second in career earnings with in excess of $246 million. He has received four Eclipse Awards as the country’s top jockey and has 11 Breeders’ Cup victories to his credit. His career win percentage is an astonishing 21.9%. In addition to race riding, Day is president of the Jockeys’ Guild, the cause which benefits from the Jockey Championship. He’s also the official spokesperson for the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America. This is his fifth Jockey Championship invitation. He ranks second to Shane Sellers in career competition points with 34 and has two event wins: Miss Utopia (1997) and Bayou Brass (1999).
Earlie Fires (Illinois) – The 54-year-old Illinois-based rider is one of only 14 jockeys to have won more than 6,000 races. It all started back in 1965 with a win aboard Cameron Kid at Oaklawn Park. Since then, the native of Rivervale, Ark., has captured riding titles at Arlington Park, Calder Race Course, Gulfstream Park, Hawthorne, Hialeah Park and Miles Park. Twice he’s ridden seven winners on a single card at Arlington. His mounts have earned more than $77.2 million. This is his first NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship invitation.
David Flores (Southern California) – At age 33, the Tijuana, Mexico native will be making his first Jockey Championship appearance. He’s won more than 2,200 races and $70 million. Flores is a four-time winner of million dollar races. He’s won each of Southern California’s premiere races – the Hollywood Gold cup twice (Marquetry-1991 and Siphon-1996) and the Pacific Classic (General Challenge-1999) and Santa Anita Handicap (Siphon-1997) once. He also bagged the 1998 Kentucky Oaks on Keeper Hill. Flores enjoyed his best season in 1999, winning titles at Santa Anita and Del Mar and a career-high $11.9 million. He makes annual trips to Lone Star Park and rode Dixie Dot Com to victory in the Texas Mile and Lone Star Park Handicap earlier this meet for his ninth and 10th local stakes wins, respectively.
Aaron Gryder (New York) – The 31-year old California native is one of the leading riders each year in New York. In addition to winning titles there, he’s been the leading rider at Arlington Park (three times), Churchill Downs (twice) and Hollywood Park (once). Known to many as “Gryder the Rider,” he won his first race in 1987 in Tijuana, Mexico. Since then, he’s made more than 2,300 trips to the winner’s circle and his mounts have earned in excess of $65.5 million. Outside the racetrack, he’s involved with numerous charities for children, including the Oscar de la Hoya Foundation. This is his first NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship invitation.
Corey Lanerie (Lone Star Park) – The 26-year-old makes his second appearance in the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship. In 1999, Lanerie finished second to the great Laffit Pincay Jr. (19 points to 13). Earlier this year, he passed Mid-South great and fellow all-star Ronald Ardoin as Lone Star Park’s all-time win leader with more than 275 trips to the winner’s circle since 1997. He’s also the track’s earnings leader and has 16 local stakes wins – one shy of Marlon St. Julien’s track record. He began the week with a commanding 63-38 lead over Curt Bourque in the Lone Star Park jockey standings. On Tuesday, he threw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers/Anaheim Angels baseball game at The Ballpark at Arlington.
Laffit Pincay Jr. (Southern California) – Simply, he’s the most respected jockey in racing. Still going strong at age 54, Pincay is the sport’s all-time win leader with more than 9,100 trips to the winner’s circle since his career began in Panama in May 1964. Elected into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1975, he’s won a record six Eclipse Awards and amassed four Triple Crown victories and seven Breeders’ Cup Championships. His lone Kentucky Derby win was aboard Swale in 1984. Earlier this year, he blew away his younger adversaries and won the prestigious Santa Anita riding title. Overall, his more than 46,000 mounts have earned in excess of $220 million. Pincay won the 1999 NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship with a win aboard Gold Nugget, a third and a fourth for 19 points. This is his fifth Jockey Championship invitation.
Edgar Prado (Florida, New York) – The defending champ is back for his third Jockey Championship. The 34-year-old rallied in the stretch aboard We Are Family to win the final race of last year’s competition. He finished tied with Donnie Meche (19 points each), but won the tiebreaker and the title. Prado, like Jorge Chavez, hails from Peru. He’s won more than 4,200 races and $84 million since he started riding in 1983. From 1997-99, he led the country in wins, including a hefty 536 in 1997. Prado switched his tack from Maryland to New York two years ago and has maintained his success. In two years, he’s chalked up 29 points in the Jockey Championship.